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the port of arrival, timber ships were not considered to have arrived until they had obtained a discharging berth within the dock.!

And evidence was admitted to prove that Sharpness was within the port of Gloucester, and that by the custom of the port of Gloucester when ships were of too heavy a burthen to come up the canal, they were lightened at Sharpness, that they then proceeded to complete discharging in the basin at Gloucester, and that the time occupied in going up and returning down the canal was not counted.2

Evidence of usage is admissible to explain the term "loading."

So where a charter-party was made " on condition of the ship's taking a cargo of not less than 1000 tons of weight and measurement." Held that the proportions of weight and measurement tonnage were to be ascertained by oral evidence of the usage of the port of loading.

By a charter-party, made in London, the defendant contracted to load in the plaintiff's ship "a full and complete cargo of sugar, molasses and/or other lawful produce." By the custom of Trinidad, the port of loading, a cargo was a full and complete cargo of sugar and molasses if it was a full and complete cargo of sugar and molasses

1 Norden S. S. Co. v. Dempsey, L. R. 1 C. P. D. 654; 45 L. J. C. P. 764. 2 Nielsen v. Wait, L. R. 16 Q. B. D. 67; 55 L. J. Q. B. 87; The Alne Holme, L. R. (1893) P. 173.

The Skandinav, 51 L. J. Ad. 93.

Pust v. Dowie, 34 L. J. Q. B. 127.

packed in puncheons and hogsheads, though room for other packages was left. The defendant loaded as many puncheons and hogsheads of sugar and molasses as the ship could hold, and some cocoa also, but still there was room for other cargo or for more sugar and molasses if packed in barrels or tierces, which are ordinary vessels for the packing of sugar and molasses, but which do not bring them home in so good condition as the larger casks. In an action against the defendant for not loading a full and complete cargo, according to the charterparty-Held, that the custom was reasonable, that the evidence of it was relevant and admissible for the defendant, as it did not vary the contract, but only explained what was the meaning of the expression in the contract "a full and complete cargo of sugar and molasses."

It has been held, that evidence was admissible to explain the meaning of the expression in the charter-party," in regular turns of loading," by shewing that there was an usage of the port of Newcastle that vessels should take in their cargoes of coke in a certain regular order or turn, and that the question, whether the vessel was loaded within a reasonable time, ought not to be decided without reference to such usage, if proved.

But where the defendants agreed by charterparty to load the plaintiff's vessel at Sunderland with coke with all possible despatch, in the

1 Cuthbert v. Cumming, 24 L. J. Ex. 310.
Leidemann v. Schultz, 23 L. J. C. P. 17.

customary manner, in regular turn. In an action. for delay in loading according to the terms of the charter-party: It was held, that evidence was not admissible to shew that, according to the custom of the port of Sunderland under such a contract, the shipowner is bound to wait until a manufacturer of coke not named in the contract has supplied all ships, whose names are put down in a turn book kept by the manufacturer, which he has previously contracted to load with coke in the port, provided he uses reasonable despatch and that the manufacturer's name is mentioned at the time the contract is made.1

A custom of a port, that the charterer is not bound to take delivery of cargo elsewhere than at port of destination, cannot be set up in answer to a claim by a shipowner on a charter-party, which provides that the ship shall proceed to a certain port, or so near thereto as she can safely get, and deliver.2


When a ship has been chartered to be loaded in 'regular turn," it is for the jury, as between shipowner and charterer, to say what " regular turn" means, and it will not mean merely the usage of the place of loading, unless it is known or established.3

If a mercantile document is insensible, when read according to the ordinary sense of the words

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used therein, it is a question for the jury whether the language thereof has not acquired a definite meaning by mercantile usage.'

Where a person contracts in the body of a charter-party and signs "as agent," his principal being undisclosed, evidence is admissible to shew a custom that he shall be personally liable if he does not disclose his principal's name within a reasonable time.2

In the case of Gibson v. Crick3 it was held that evidence of a custom as to payment of broker's commission when he introduces another broker to a shipowner, who subsequently negotiates with one of the brokers introduced, was inadmissible, on the ground that the plaintiff's services were too remotes and that any custom which would entitle them to claim commission under such circumstances would be an unreasonable custom and bad.

But where it was proposed to prove, by the evidence of shipbrokers, a custom under which the "introducing broker" is entitled to a share of commission on all business resulting from his introduction, extending to all renewals of charter, between the same parties; and it was contended that by the usage of brokers, such custom would attach to an agreement which contained nothing inconsistent with it, it was held-"that there was

1 Ashforth v. Redford, L. R. 9 C. P. 20; 43 L. J. C. P. 57.

* Hutchinson v. Tatham, L. R. 8 C. P. 482; Humfrey v. Dale, 26 L. J. Q. B. 137; Fleet v. Murton, L. R. 7 Q. B. 126; Deslandes v. Gregory, 30 L. J. Q. B. 36.

331 L. J. Ex. 304.

Whether usage

must be known

evidence for the jury that the agreement made respecting the first ship applied to the other also, and that the question whether it did so apply ought to have been left to the jury; and that the evidence as to the alleged custom ought not to have been rejected.1

In the case of Falkner v. Earle' it was proved that there was a custom at Liverpool of allowing a discount of three months on freights payable on all bills of lading from ports in North America. When Texas was annexed to America, in 1846, the custom was in practice extended to ports in that territory-Held, that this was evidence from which a jury might infer that the custom extended to ports in California after that country was also annexed.


In Pike v. Ongley the Court of Appeal held, that parol evidence to prove a custom in the trade making the brokers liable as well as the principals, in cases where the names of their principals are not disclosed at the time of the making of the contract, was admissible, as not being inconsistent with the written document.

The rule was thus laid down by Alderson, B., in to party to be the case of Bayliffe v. Butterworth.* "A person who deals in a particular market must be taken to deal according to the custom of that market, and


1 Allan v. Sundius, 31 L. J. Ex. 307.

2 Falkner v. Earle, 32 L. J. Q. B. 124; Brown v. Byrne, 23 L. J. Q. B. 313. 3 L. R. 18 Q. B. D. 708; 56 L. J. Q. B. 373.

1 Ex. 425;

Sutton v. Tatham, 10 A. & E. 27; Gabay v. Lloyd, 3 B. & C. 793; Bartlett v. Pentland, 10 B. & C. 760; Sweeting . Pearce, 30 L. J. C. P. 109.

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